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August 24, 2011

Slice of Heaven

Slice of Heaven

(14 Days Cape Town and Garden Route)
D = dinner     B = bed/breakfast       L = lunch         G = golf           S = safari

Day 1:           Overnight Cape Town                         (LDB)

Upon arrival in Cape Town you will be met at the airport and accompanied to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Here you will enjoy a light finger lunch with some local wine, and a run through of the itinerary for the next few days. After lunch you will have some time to explore the gardens before departing for the hotel. After checking in you can spend the afternoon relaxing after your long flight.

Dinner is a feast at the Africa Café, so come hungry!

Day 2:           Overnight Cape Town                         (BDB)

To ensure that your legs are stretched and ready for golf, you start the day with a walking city tour of Cape Town. You will discover where it all began and how the indigenous tribes, colonists and slaves contributed to the establishing of Cape Town, and ultimately South Africa. This afternoon you will explore township life and culture with a visit to the Langa, Nyanga and Guguletu townships where you’ll enjoy dinner and participate in drumming and dancing.

Day 3:           Overnight Cape Town                         (BLB)

Your Peninsula day begins with a journey along the Atlantic seaboard. You will pass through Clifton, Camps Bay and through the fishing village of Hout Bay and onto Chapman’s Peak drive. After a stop to take in this spectacular scenery, you then head to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. Before heading to the tip of the Peninsula, you will take a beach walk at Olifantsbos to the wreck of the Thomas T. Tucker, a US Navy Liberty ship that ran aground on its maiden voyage in 1942.

You then head up to Cape Point where you will take a funicular ride on the “Flying Dutchman” up to the old lighthouse. From this vantage point you will have a magnificent view of the Eastern and Western sides of the peninsula. After lunch at the cliff-hugging Two Oceans restaurant you head back to the city, with a stop at Boulders Beach for a viewing of the African penguin colony. After a busy day you will return to the hotel where the evening will be at your leisure to enjoy some of the city’s many other culinary delights, or the vibrant nightlife of Long Street (a perfect example of inner city renewal).

Day 4: Overnight Stellenbosch (BGDB)

After checking out this morning you make your way to the Westlake Golf Course for your first round of golf. This parklands course is one with an environmental conscience. Their contribution to water conservation is using treated effluent water for course irrigation, rather than the municipal drinking water. This easy to walk golf course is characterised by towering trees, which line many of its fairways. The course has a very interesting, yet user-friendly design and its fair share of doglegs. Established in 1932 and constantly improving, Westlake Golf Club has become one of the must-play courses when in Cape Town.

All golf clubs in South Africa have a mandatory 15 minute half way stop, which gives you a chance to refuel before tackling the back nine. After your round you head to Stellenbosch for the Winelands leg of your trip. This evening you embark on a twilight walk of Stellenbosch before finishing at   Ernie Els’ “Big Easy” restaurant in historic Dorp Street.

Day 5: Overnight Stellenbosch                       (BGB)

Round 2 is played at the jewel in the crown of Cape Towns’ courses, namely the Pearl Valley Golf Estate. This Jack Nicklaus signature designed course will thrill, frustrate and bewitch you. Surrounded by the Simonsberg and Drakenstein Mountains you will have no choice but to agree that when God made South Africa He definitely took His time!

Jack Nicklaus has stayed true to his design principles by working closely with nature and has provided a golf course that fits in with the environment. This fairly flat, and largely uninterrupted, terrain enabled Nicklaus the freedom to develop hole strategies, making this a golf course the golfer has to think his/her way around.

This evening will be at your leisure.

Day 6:           Overnight Stellenbosch                       (BLDB)

Today you exchange your clubs for a glass or two (or three or four) of some of the best wine and brandy in the Cape. You begin with a cellar tour, tasting and light lunch at the Nederburg Wine Estate in the Paarl wine region. You then head to the picturesque village of Franschhoek for Sobrage and sparkling wine at Haute Cabriere. To ensure all of the wine regions are covered, you end at the van Ryn’s brandy distillery in Stellenbosch.
An early dinner after a long day finds you at the African themed Moyo restaurant on the Spier Wine Estate. Our suggestion is to pack tonight in anticipation of an early start to your journey to the Garden Route.

Day 7: Overnight Knysna                               (BDB)

Your destination today is the Garden Route town of Knysna. Your journey begins along the Breede River Valley and then makes its way onto Route 62. You continue along the R62 into the Overberg region and make a mid morning stop at, the now world famous, Ronnie’s Sex Shop. The Garcia Pass between Ladismith and Riversdale is a testament to the determination of engineers to build a road connecting the Little Karoo to the coastal belt. You break for lunch at the Garden Route Game Lodge, where wildlife can be viewed from the deck overlooking the water hole below the restaurant. The final leg of your journey comes to an end in the picturesque town of Knysna.

After check in you will have some time to relax and freshen up before departing for dinner at 34° South, which is arguably the best seafood restaurant in Knysna.

Day 8: Overnight Knysna                               (BGB)

Situated on the hills overlooking the Knysna Lagoon you find yourself at the stunning Simola Golf Club for round 3. This is a superb golf course with some marvellous golf holes that create inner excitement when you step onto the tee. Keeping your head down at Simola can be a challenge; simply because the views around the course are awe-inspiring, and with this, it is clear to see why Simola takes its place as one of South Africa’s premier golfing destinations.

The Golden Bear’s 18 hole championship course at Simola has been created to challenge the professional and inspire the amateur. Nicklaus’ aim was to create a golf course that will be a demanding test of skill for the accomplished golfer playing from the back tees. At the same time offer a challenging, yet enjoyable experience for the average or beginner who thinks his or her way around the golf course. He has certainly been successful with Simola.

After your round you return to Knysna where the rest of the afternoon and evening will be at your leisure to explore the town and have dinner. If fine dining does not interest you tonight, we suggest trying some of the best spare ribs you will ever eat at “Oldie’s Pub and Restaurant”.

Day 9:           Overnight Knysna                               (BGDB)

Your 4th round is played at the Pezula Golf Course. It is a tough test of golf requiring some competence in order to fully enjoy your experience. Expect some awkward lies on the sloping terrain and club selection is critical owing to the strategic design of the course amongst the Fynbos vegetation. It is not a course that beginners will enjoy! This award-winning 18-hole course, designed by David Dale and Ronald Fream of GolfPlan USA, rates amongst the most scenic golf courses in the world. In 2001, just a few months after it opened, the Course was awarded Best New Golf Course.

After your round you make your back to the hotel to freshen up before departing on a sunset cruise on the lagoon. Dinner will be enjoyed at the Cruise Cafe restaurant upon your return.

Day 10: Overnight Cape St Francis (BB)

Today you depart for Cape St Francis. En-route you will visit the primate sanctuary at Monkeyland and the world’s largest free flying aviary at Birds of Eden.

The Tsitsikamma Nature Reserve which, is considered by many to be the heart of the Garden Route, will be your next stop where you’ll have time to walk through indigenous forest out to the suspension bridge which crosses the Storms River mouth. If you choose not to walk then soak up the glorious atmosphere of the area or enjoy a coffee at the restaurant overlooking the Indian Ocean.

Your journey ends today at the Cape St Francis Resort; a family-run resort only 300m from the beach.

Dinner can be had at the Joe Fish restaurant

Day 11: Overnight Cape St Francis                  (BGDB)

Time for golf and round 5 is at the St Francis Bay Golf Club. This golf club is renowned country-wide for its warm hospitality and great club spirit, which has been the essence of the club over the years. For all golfers, especially those visiting the Eastern Cape, the opportunity to visit St Francis Bay Golf Club should not be missed.

The origins of the club date back to 1975 when Leighton Hulett opened a 9-hole private golf course. Since then, many exciting changes have taken place and today the 18-hole coastal golf course compares favourably to its counterparts in the Cape. Your round here will be an excellent introduction to a links style course, which is what you will tackle tomorrow compliments of Jack Nicklaus.

Dinner this evening will be a traditional Potjiekos experience (a stew prepared in a cauldron).

Day 12: Overnight Port Elizabeth                      (BGB)

Links courses are always difficult, especially when the wind blows, so for this reason you need to bring your A-game to your 6th and final round at the St Francis Links. Another Jack Nicklaus course and what a beauty it is. Typical of the Scottish, undulating courses with humps and swales and hollows it has captured the essence of the great championship layouts of the British Isles. There is something special and exhilarating about playing a good links course and this one is no exception.

Each hole has been given a distinctive name; among them are “Eye of the needle”; “Braveheart” and a local South African expression “Eish” which could loosely be translated as WOW!

After your round you depart for Port Elizabeth and the Nelson Mandela Bay area. After checking in you will have some time to relax and freshen up before dinner, which will be at your leisure.

Day 13: Overnight Port Elizabeth                      (BSDB)

This morning you go hunting at the Addo Elephant Park, not with a rifle but with binoculars and a camera, in search of the elusive “Big 5”. This is a non-malarial area where a multitude of game roams freely. Apart from the Elephants, which give the park its name, you may also see Black Rhino, Buffalo, Lion and a variety of antelope such as Kudu, Red Hartebeest and Eland. If that is not enough for you, after lunch you depart for the Schotia Private Game Reserve. Their open safari vehicles and guides will take you on an up-close game drive before a bush braai (BBQ) dinner at their boma. A 20-30 minute night drive will return you to the vehicle before returning to Port Elizabeth.

Day 14: (B)

Your Slice of Heaven experience ends with a morning at leisure before departing for the airport. Depending on your flight time, you may choose to take a walk on the beach or visit The Boardwalk for lunch and do some last minute shopping. You may also choose to play an optional 9 holes at Port Elizabeth golf club. Please notify you tour guide in advance so that he/she can secure a slot for you.

After arriving as visitors you will leave as friends, promising to return one day. The memories you take home with you will last a lifetime.

TOUR ENDS May Your Drives be Long and Your Putts Few!

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